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Quarantine

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 11 June, Official Report, column 508, what representations he has received concerning the benefits of reforming current quarantine legislation; and if he will make a statement. [4808]

Mr. Rooker [holding answer 24 June 1997]: Since 2 May, the Department has received 326 letters on this subject. The great majority are in favour of changing existing rabies control policy.

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 11 June, Official Report, column 508, what plans he has to produce a consultative document on quarantine reform; and if he will make a statement. [4807]

Mr. Rooker [holding answer 24 June 1997]: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given by my right hon. Friend, the Minister, to the hon. Member for Salisbury (Mr. Key) on 19 June, Official Report, column 288.

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, pursuant to his answer of 11 June, Official Report, column 508, what plans he has to meet organisations campaigning for reforms to quarantine legislation, to discuss alternatives to the current system; and if he will make a statement. [4809]

Mr. Rooker [holding answer 24 June 1997]: I will be meeting the RSPCA and Passports for Pets on Thursday 3 July.

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Qualified Majority Voting

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to what extent measures affecting the United Kingdom's energy (a) sources and (b) supply will be subject to the qualified majority vote of all the members of the European Union. [5285]

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Mr. Doug Henderson: Article 130s (2), which covers energy sources and supply, will remain subject to unanimity.

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to what extent qualified majority voting over regional policy was extended at the Inter-Governmental Conference at Amsterdam; and which countries (a) supported and (b) approved its extension. [5247]

Mr. Henderson: The voting rules for regional policy--articles 130 a-e--were not changed at Amsterdam. We cannot agree to publish the detailed views expressed by Heads of State and Government in a closed meeting.

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to what extent qualified majority voting was extended in respect of industrial policy at the Inter-Governmental Conference at Amsterdam. [5252]

Mr. Henderson: Article 130, the Industry title will remain subject to unanimity. However, it was agreed at Amsterdam that QMV should apply in respect of research and development policy.

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to what extent measures concerning (a) town and country planning, (b) land use and (c) management of United Kingdom water resources are subject to the qualified majority vote of all the members of the European Union. [5290]

Mr. Henderson: Article 130s(2), which covers town and country planning, land use, and management of water resources, will remain subject to unanimity.

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to what extent qualified majority voting over environmental policy at the Amsterdam Conference was extended. [5289]

Mr. Henderson: Qualified majority voting in the Environment Title was not extended at Amsterdam.

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to what extent qualified majority voting over social policy was extended at the Inter-Governmental Conference at Amsterdam. [5248]

Mr. Henderson: Voting arrangements in the current social agreement, now incorporated into the treaty, remain as before. Additions to the draft treaty include articles providing for measures to combat social exclusion (article 118.2), and on equality of opportunity and treatment of men and women (article 119.3). Decisions under these articles are to be taken by QMV.

Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which countries (a) opposed and (b) supported the extension of qualified majority voting on environmental policy. [5260]

Mr. Henderson: We cannot agree to publish the detailed views expressed by Heads of State and Government in a closed meeting.

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Kenya (Elections)

Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what plans he has to monitor elections in Kenya; and if he will make a statement. [5373]

Mr. Doug Henderson: We will seek to contribute to both international and local efforts to monitor the forthcoming elections in Kenya. Our exact plans have yet to be finalised. We are discussing with partners the co-ordination of our joint efforts. Staff from our High Commission in Nairobi are already monitoring voter registration and other preparations for the elections.

Albania

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proposals he is supporting to strengthen the development of democracy in Albania. [5180]

Mr. Doug Henderson: We fully support the process of democratisation in Albania. We have seconded senior experts to assist the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe Mission which is advising the Albanians on the organisation of the 29 June elections. Twenty-one monitors from the UK, including 11 hon. Members, will observe the poll. More widely we are supporting the efforts of the European Union, the Council of Europe, who are providing advice on the judicial system and media training to the Albanians, and the Western European Union which is advising and training the Albanian police.

Nuclear Weapons

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of nuclear weapons held by parties to international arms control negotiations which are (a) vulnerable to an early strike and (b) currently on alert status; and if he will make a statement. [4738]

Dr. Reid: I have been asked to reply as this matter falls within my area of responsibility. We share the view of the United States that heavy and multiple warheaded ICBMs are the most potentially vulnerable and destabilising strategic weapons. There are currently several thousand warheads deployed on such systems. We support, therefore, the efforts being made by the US to achieve the deactivation and subsequent elimination of these systems through the ratification by Russia of the START II Treaty.

DEFENCE

Strategic Defence Review

Mr. McAllion: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what are the terms of reference for the strategic defence review announced by the Government; and if he will place copies of these in the Library. [4746]

Dr. Reid: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence to my hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, Selly Oak (Dr. Jones) on 19 June 1997, Official Report, column 264. All Members of the House should have received a letter from the Secretary of State setting out the scope of the

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Strategic Defence Review and how we propose it will be undertaken. A copy of this letter has been placed in the Library of the House.

Departmental Advisers

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the special advisers in his Department, the Minister to whom each is responsible, the subjects on which they advise and the number of advisers in his Department in the year up to 1 May. [5350]

Mr. George Robertson: Mr. Alasdair McGowan is already working as my Special Adviser. I have also invited Mr. Bernard Gray to become my Special Adviser and he will take up his appointment next month. Special Advisers are employed under terms and conditions based on the model contract for Special Advisers, a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House. Mr. McGowan provides me with advice on any matter which I decide to refer to him in accordance with Schedule 1 (Part 1) of the model contract. He is also free to raise matters with me. Mr. Gray's appointment will be on the same basis.

In the year up to 1 May 1997, my predecessor employed one Special Adviser.

Nuclear Weapons

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what review has been undertaken by NATO of its nuclear strategy in response to the World Court's advisory judgment on the legality of the threat of use of nuclear weapons; and what were its conclusions; [4300]

Dr. Reid: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given on 22 May 1997 to him by my hon. Friend the Member for Manchester, Central (Mr. Lloyd), Official Report, column 136.

The Alliance has carefully examined the International Court of Justice's Advisory Opinion. The Court concluded by a large majority that there is in international law no comprehensive and universal prohibition of the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons. Allies agree that NATO's strategy of war prevention, including its nuclear component, is fully compatible with the United Nations Charter and international law.


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